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A certified film noir classic, Criss Cross embraces the genre's darkness with an uncompromising tale of doomed lovers and multilayered betrayal. Reuniting with director Robert Siodmak after their success with The Killers, Burt Lancaster plays a love-struck loser who seals his fate when he returns to Los Angeles to find his ex-wife (Yvonne DeCarlo) eager to rekindle their love against all better judgment. She encourages their torrid affair but marries a mobster (Dan Duryea); to deflect suspicion, Lancaster lures Duryea into an armored-truck robbery, creating a vortex of greed and passion from which he cannot escape. Featuring the brief screen debut of Tony Curtis, Criss Cross is a stylish masterpiece of clashing fates and fatal attractions; Franz Planer's cinematography creates a shadow world in which every desire is tainted by the threat of violence, and Miklos Rozsa's score underlines a love story that could never end happily. Film noir doesn't get any bleaker--or better--than this.

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MC25499 Criss Cross DVD (1948/Burt Lancaster) $14.98